Lily held her quill in her hand, looked at the last few lines that she wrote, huffed in frustration, crumpled up the paper and threw it away.
"This is impossible." she remarked in utter frustration.
She had been trying to write a letter to Frank for the past two days, ever since Alice had written to her about Frank's father's death. To say the least Lily had gone into a shock learning about this. Frank and Lily had been quite good friends especially after Alice started dating Frank in their fifth year. Lily knew that the wizarding world was not half of what it used to be when she was in the early years of her education. She had been reading The Daily Prophet very religiously but it was painfully evident that the Ministry had been trying to underplay the actual level of threats that the wizards and witches were exposed to, especially the muggle-borns or anyone who sided with them. She wondered if she herself was at all equipped to handle, should she become a victim to, the hate towards muggle-borns. She sourly remembered the last day of OWLs when Snape had called her a mudblood. She scoffed at the irony that her very first encounter with this hate was with someone she was friends with for more than five years. Could facing this hate ever again be as painful as it was when Sev said it? she thought. She realised that if she could survive being called a mudblood by a friend, she could survive pretty much anything else.
Lily looked down at the debris of her crumpled letters dejectedly. She wondered if Alice could instead write to Frank on her behalf. She scoffed at the ridiculous idea. She then wracked her brain to try and remember other students whose parents were worked for the Ministry. There was Charlie in fifth year whose mother was in the Ministry. She listed the students of her own batch in her mind. There was her friend Marlene whose father and mother both worked for the Ministry, in the Auror Office, then there was Hestia Jones whose parents were both Healers at St. Mungo's. They had been keeping just as busy with patients exposed to or attacked directly by dark magic kept showing up. Her mind then went on to the boys of her year and for some odd reason the thought that she remembered that James's father worked in the Ministry made her extremely uncomfortable. She remembered how she'd found out about this little fact in her fourth year when Frank had been explaining Lily something about bubotuber pus, when Potter had popped in to discuss something about the Ministry. Frank had later told Lily that James's father had just made the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, where Frank's father worked too. She took a moment to digest this little newly discovered piece of information. She, in an odd moment, wondered if Frank's father died while he was working with James's father. She shook her head as if to ward off such thoughts. At the end she decided to write the letter to Frank.
I wish I had the courage to hope for this letter to find you well. I don't. And while I do hope it does, it's alright if you don't have the head space to deal with condolences that must be pouring in or to read this letter (mostly because I had crumpled up nearly seven letters before this one, and I have no idea if this letter makes any more sense than the others did). I must tell you how terribly and awfully sorry I am about hearing the demise of your father. I can never, never begin to imagine how you must be feeling and that in itself is frustrating. I wish I could be there right now. I feel so idle just sitting here not even being able to form words to express my condolences.
I really hope you pull through this Frank. I won't take much of your time but I'd like you to know that if at all you need to talk about this or about anything other than this, then I'm only a letter away.
Lily wasn't highly appreciative of what she'd written but she decided that this was probably the best she could do at the moment. She rushed to her owl, Amaia, before she could change her mind about sending this letter. She tied the letter to the owl's leg and sent her away with the letter to find Frank. As she was closing the window, she looked outside . It was a quiet Tuesday. She wished she was at Hogwarts. It would have been a busy day, corridors bustling with students trying to reach their classes, some fighting or bickering, some holding hands. She never had seen the castle in August. She wondered how the August sky would pair with the castle's majestic presence. At home she had to put up with her sister and her whale of a boyfriend. It was some consolation that her dad truly despised Vernon, Petunia's boyfriend. She could tell that her mother wasn't exactly thrilled about Vernon but she never outwardly showed her dislike towards him. Her father, however, would occasionally drop hints that Vernon shouldn't boss around Petunia so much. He'd keep saying things like, "That's all good but what do you think Tuney?", or "I think Petunia should have the only say on whether she wants to finish her college first and then get married. It isn't mine or Rose's decision. Neither is it anyone else's.". But despite these efforts, Lily reasoned, they had the obligation of being supportive of what their daughter wanted. And so they had reluctantly agreed to have Petunia's wedding this time of the next year.
She'd written to Hestia and Marlene asking if they'd like to meet up in Diagon Alley on Friday. She thought it'll be better if she went out with them before attending the funeral on Sunday. She hardly knew what she was going to say to Frank or anyone at all there. She wondered if she might feel utterly left out because that almost always happened whenever she'd be at a gathering of witches and wizards outside of Hogwarts. Everyone seemed to know everyone. She knew Alice would be there. The thought that James Potter might be there too also made her uncomfortable. The two of them hadn't been, to say the least, able to stay cordial around each other for a record of five years in a row. She hoped he wouldn't say anything provoking (which she knew he almost always did) and she hoped she wouldn't get back at him with some snappy retort (which she, again, knew she almost always did) for the sake of maintaining the decorum. With a sigh she decided to go for a stroll in the park she'd played in as a kid, but then the thought of running into Snape deterred her. Lily and Alice had been visiting Frank every summer since her fourth year. She knew that Alice would want to visit Frank before she had to formally meet him at the funeral and she also knew that Alice would ask Lily to accompany her. She wasn't opposed to this idea given that it might cut through the tension before the funeral and in turn make the funeral less awkward for her. She looked around with what to do with her spare time and settled for a cup of tea and some leftover cookies she and her mother had baked on Sunday and went to sit on the terrace.
Wednesday morning arrived and brought with it five suitcases, a seventeen year old boy who couldn't look any more distraught than he already did, a middle aged woman who gave off a very authoritarian air but if anyone looked closer they'd be able to tell she was hardly keeping it together. Before the guests had arrived Euphemia had already had Fleamont, James and Sirius ready and waiting for the guests in the foyer. James carefully watched Frank, who at this point, James concluded, didn't give a damn about how put together he looked. James and Sirius had had hell from Euphemia this morning about dressing well to receive the guests. She'd woken them up at half past seven much to the disappointment of Sirius.
"It's bad manners to receive guests looking as if you'd just woken up. They won't feel welcomed." Euphemia had said.
"Well, if they had to come at eight in the morning I'm beginning to question if they really are welcomed." grumbled Sirius, rubbing his eyes.
James snorted and Sirius noted Euphemia looked a little amused.
"Welcome Augusta, Frank." said Euphemia with her characteristic warm smile.
Augusta and Frank thanked everyone for letting them stay here. James and Sirius levitated the five trunks towards the guest room as everyone settled down in the dining hall for breakfast. Breakfast was a quiet affair. No one really spoke except for some questions that Augusta had regarding the Ministry officials at her house. Augusta was practically Euphemia minus the latter's sense of humour. Almost everyone including Fleamont were freakishly scared of Augusta. She had been Fleamont's and Euphemia's senior by three years at Hogwarts and had more often than not caught the two of them taking strolls around the castle post curfew. But of course James and Sirius understood what strolls around the castle post curfew really meant. Everyone at the Ministry, who knew Augusta, had great reverence for her and also knew that she always cuts through everyone's bullshit. To James and Sirius she might be the only lady whom they were scared of a little. Frank had been mostly silent on everything. James tried making polite conversation and Sirius made every effort to bite back an inappropriate remarks for James's comments. After breakfast Fleamont, Augusta and Euphemia left for the Ministry. Augusta worked in the Department of International Cooperation while Euphemia worked at Wizengamot as an expert and advisor to the jury on magical law.
Frank, James and Sirius were left home alone. The three of them sat in JFrank's room awkwardly. James and Sirius felt more awkward than Frank did. The two of them realised that Frank had retreated into a shell of his own. He'd nod or smile occasionally on something the two of them said but other than that he maintained his poise and stared off into space. It wasn't like him to do this. Frank resembled Remus in his mannerism but was someone with quite a lively sense of humour. Not that Remus wasn't funny. Remus's humour was more reserved, only people who hanged around him could tell if he was joking. He'd say things with such a poker face that the person who didn't know him might just assume that he's utterly pissed with them. Frank on the other hand was quite a famous prefect cause he'd joke around with just about anyone (except of course Slytherins). Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and for obvious reasons Gryffindors loved Frank, he knew almost everyone by their names and made a point to talk to people he hadn't spoken to in a while. To see him in such a distraught state made James and Sirius absolutely desperate to figure out a way to make him feel better.
"Shit!" exclaimed Frank suddenly.
"What is it?" asked Sirius, grateful that something other than a "mhmm" came out of Frank.
"I forgot to tell Alice that we'd be moving here. Lily and Alice were supposed to come by today to stay over."
"To stay over?" asked James, as his eyes grew a little wide but he composed himself when he saw Sirius smirking at him out of the corner of his eyes.
"Yes. Oh Merlin, I was just so occupied with myself I absolutely forgot." said Frank with a tired sigh. He went up to where his luggage was kept and brought back a small diary and started writing in it frantically.
James and Sirius exchanged worried looks.
"It's good you know, to express your .. feelings by writing it down. I've heard it really helps." remarked James awkwardly, not knowing what else to say.
Sirius was just trying to eat up his laughter while also mouthing the words, you are horrible at this prongs. James kicked him.
Frank looked up quite amused himself.
"Oh it isn't like that," explained Frank, "it was a gift from Alice for my 16th birthday. She has one exactly like this and whatever I write in this shows up within seconds in her diary. It rattles a bit when there's a new message."
James and Sirius looked mildly surprised at the brilliant piece of work and wondered why they hadn't thought of something like that.
"So you're going to ask them to come here instead? I can give you the exact address. Alice can apparate now, right?" asked James, not once realising he was way ahead of himself.
"Oh no no no, I was just writing to ask them to not come here at all. It's already so much inconvenience to you and your family with me and mum." said Frank in an apologetic tone, not looking up from the diary.
"Hey! No it is absolutely no inconvenience! If not for a stay over they can definitely come over for the evening." Sirius spoke up, hoping that Frank would say yes and this awkward situation would be dissipated with the arrival of Frank's girlfriend and James's unofficial wife.
"Yeah I guess that makes much more sense." Frank thought aloud, "are you sure you guys don't have a problem?" he added.
"Seriously Frank, James would practically be jumping in his seat if it wasn't for the grim atmosphere." Sirius remarked.
Frank smiled despite of himself. He loved Sirius's habit of addressing the elephant in the room with such ease. James was glowering at Sirius to which the latter paid no attention to.
"Although I have to warn, Lily might just refuse to come once she comes to know whose house she has to come to meet me." said Frank, smirking at James. James rolled his eyes at the two of them.
"Yeah fine go ahead, laugh at my expense." said James, half relieved that the tension in the room disappeared a bit and half anxious about Frank's comment on Lily changing her mind about coming here.
"Alice is saying she's going to get Lily in ten minutes. So let's say they take about twenty minutes arguing on whether Lily should come here or not, they'd be here in half an hour." said Frank, thoughtfully.
James could feel his excitement taking over his senses. Sirius sat in his chair arms behind his head. This should be fun, he thought, amused.
Lily waited for Alice, with her overnight bag ready. They were supposed to leave right now but for some reason Alice was late by fifteen minutes. She was waiting at her windowsill, reading when she heard a pop outside the window. She looked up to see Alice, but apparently she had no bag. She thought maybe she's coming back from Frank's after keeping her bag there. It might be difficult to apparate with two bags maybe, Lily reasoned. Lily paused for a while and wondered why everything seems like some reasoning puzzle to her, why was she always compelled to solve everything that doesn't go the way it's supposed to. But it all made sense. It would also explain why Alice was late. She skipped to the door and let Alice in, satisfied with her explanation of why Alice was late and why she had no bag.
"Hey there Lils." exclaimed Alice and pulled Lily into a hug. Lily thought she heard a nervous quiver in Alice's voice but she dismissed it thinking she was probably worried about being late.
"Hi Al." Lily said as she hugged her back.
"I wish mum and dad were here to meet you but they left this morning to book a venue for Tuney's wedding next year." Lily sounded apologetic.
"Oh it's really no bother, I'll meet them when I come to drop you back." said Alice, really worried over what she was going to say next. "You know there's a slight bit of change in plans." Alice started.
Lily raised her eyebrows, curiously.
"So Frank's place has been sealed by the Ministry, you know, something to do with security breach or something. The Ministry wanted to be sure the place was squeaky clean before the funeral took place," explained Alice, hoping Lily wouldn't mind going to Potter's, "so Frank and his mother are currently living with the Potter's." Alice finished, saying the last part pretty glibly.
Lily's eyes grew wide at the thought. Surely Alice doesn't mean to take me Potter's place to meet with Frank? Lily thought. It would be another level of awkward. But the pleading look on Alice's face conveyed quite the opposite meaning. Lily's face became pale at the thought of going over to stay Potter's. She looked towards her bag and Alice followed her friend's and quickly understood what was playing on Lily's mind.
"Oh no no, Lily we'll come back by late evening." Alice cleared the confusion of why she didn't have a bag.
"AL! I can't go to Potter's house!" exclaimed Lily, aghast.
"Oh come on it won't be that bad! I never leave you alone!" fought Alice.
"You always leave me alone. I've spent more time baking and reading with Frank's mother than he himself probably did." Lily said, almost in a state of panic.
"That's why she likes you more than she likes me!" said Alice, realisation dawning upon her pretty face.
"Oh can we please come back to how you'll leave me alone with James Potter?"
"I'm pretty sure Augusta will be there too! She and Frank both had moved to the Potter's!"
This made Lily's nerves calm only a bit. Although she knew, Augusta or no Augusta, James would come to pick on her at any given cost. But Lily couldn't resist the puppy eyes Alice put up.
"Only till late evening." said Lily, with a definite tone to her voice.
"I love you more than I love Frank!" exclaimed the other witch, "don't tell him I said that though." she added quickly.
Lily rolled her eyes, amused, but the anxiety was gnawing away at her stomach. But then again, she thought, it's better to meet with Potter before the funeral. She might be able to contain her anger at the funeral if she meets him now and has a small row with him in private. She could then just scowl at him all day long at the funeral. She shook her head resignedly at her absurd thought process.
Lily held Alice's hand as the latter prepared to apparate. With a pop, they disappeared from Lily's living room.
James, Sirius and Frank were now in the living room as they waited for the two girls to show up. Or it could pretty much be just Alice, as James reminded himself constantly. The truth was he really was looking forward to meet her or in their case they just exchange scowls and smirks the former usually from Lily and the latter naturally from James. He hadn't been able to talk to her ever since the Snaoe incident happened just a couple of months back. James swore to himself he wouldn't say anything that could trigger her Lily-mad-o-meter. He wanted to know if she still spoke to Snape. He still didn't know what he'd do or say if she told him that she in fact, is talking to Snape despite of everything. He debated if he should pick a fight with her in this case or if he shouldn't- pop.
James's head whipped up to see if it was just Alice or Lily and Alice but instead saw his mother and Mrs. Longbottom coming to the living room through the foyer. They usually come back at around five in the evening. It was only half past eleven. He gave them a questioning look.
"The Ministry is surveying the floo networks throughout. They are practically opening up the walls and everything, it's impossible to work. Half the employees have left." answered Euphemia to James's confused expression, "what are you lot doing in the living room, are you waiting for someone?"
"Uh, yeah, Alice and Lily were going to visit me at my home but I just completely forgot to mention moving here to her, so I asked them to visit us here instead." Frank answered quickly, the tip of his ears turning red.
Augusta started at Frank but Euphemia paid no attention to it.
"Lily as in Lily Evans?" asked Euphemia incredulously, a smirk appearing at her lips. Sirius winked at Euphemia confirming the latter's doubt.
"Oh finally I'll get to meet this girl who apparently has flames growing on her head." said a very amused Euphemia, looking at her son from the corner of her eyes. James was going to protest but Augusta spoke up, "Oh she's a lovely witch! And a very smart one too. She'd read most of the different International treatises while she would stay over at our place and she's an excellent baker too! Taught me a trick or two." Everyone eyed Augusta warily. She hardly ever praised anyone this much. Wow she must really love Evans, thought James, quite dumbfounded. Euphemia was even more excited to meet the girl that her son had been gushing over ever since he stepped into Hogwarts.
There was a faint pop that everyone heard and they all (except James) looked outside in the gardens. Alice the dark haired witch was walking towards the entrance and a red haired witch who looked quite uncertain but walked confidently followed the former.
Euphemia went to the door to receive the girls, while everyone stayed back in the living room. The bell rang before she could reach the door. James still didn't know if Lily had come or not. Everyone could hear some greetings being exchanged in the foyer but they waited patiently for the guests or guest, James thought. Euphemia entered the living room, followed by Alice. Sirius almost laughed out at James's pouty face when James realised Lily didn't enter. Lily stumbled in the living room only a moment later. Anyone watching James's expression could've noticed anticipation, disappointment and satisfaction pass through his eyes all within fractions of a second.
"Can't keep your cool around me, Evans?" smirked James and realised his first mistake. Before Lily could scowl in return, Augusta, who was standing next to James swatted his head so hard he let out a loud "Ow."
"Apologise to your guest, boy." reprimanded Augusta.
James looked horrified while Lily and Sirius were trying their best to contain their laughter.
"Well?" said Augusta giving James a pointed look.
He looked to his mother and Sirius for some support but he knew he was just pulling at straws. No one ever dared cross Augusta.
"I guess I'm sorry, love." apologised James, with faux sweetness in his voice, but it did give him some satisfaction on calling her love. James smirked as he saw Lily scowl for a moment before regaining her composure and telling him, "It's quite alright, Potter."
Lily was pretty much dreading this all the way to his home. She couldn't imagine just how arrogant Potter might be in his home if he was such a git in a place away from home. However the moment Augusta had smacked him on the head, Lily felt reassured.
"Well this is lovely. Have a seat everyone." said Euphemia, as she herself took a seat. James sat next to Augusta and the two of them were sitting opposite to Lily , who were on the same sofa, a centre table separated them. Alice and Frank sat on the sofa to the right that was perpendicular to the one on which Lily was sitting while the one on the left was occupied by Euphemia. Sirius then took seat next to Lily thinking she might feel quite left out if he went to sit over with Euphemia.
There was an awkward silence that followed after everyone had exchanged pleasantries and Lily and Alice had conveyed their condolences, and before anyone could say anything, Augusta got up and asked Lily to join her in a walk outside in the gardens. Lily naturally agreed. Augusta was the only one in the room (except Frank and Alice but they were just busy in their own little world) to whom Lily was close. She followed Augusta out while James followed her with his eyes.
"She was literally stomping her foot that she wouldn't come here. You owe me one James." smirked Alice as she and everyone else noticed James's eyes following Lily outside.
James scoffed and Sirius laughed.
Frank and Alice excused themselves and went over to Frank's room.
"No, seriously," Euphemia said in between chuckles, "what did you do to make her hate you so much?"
"Try asking her out after every class ends." smirked Sirius.
James scowled at his best mate.
"She really does have gorgeous hair and stunning eyes. Better than you had described. It's a shame I should've told her this." teased Euphemia.
"Oh, call it off you two, won't you?" cried James, "you'll scare her away."
"Yes and you apparently welcome her with the words "Can't keep your cool around me?" to make her feel at home right?" retorted Sirius.
"I just can't help it around her!" said James in defence.
Augusta and Lily chose that moment to enter the living room.
"Ah, Lily, we were just talking about you." said Euphemia warmly, but she could feel James's eyes staring into the side of her head.
Lily let out a small "oh", not knowing how to respond to that.
"Now, you," started Augusta pointing at James, "better behave yourself around her."
"I'll behave if she goes out with me." replied James, smirking and realising he did the same mistake again. I just can't fucking help it can I? Damn this girl. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'll behave." James finished when he saw the look on Augusta's face.
"Right now then, your mother and I have something to talk over, Ministry business, you two attend to your guest well."
Lily looked mildly panicked, but she decided she'll live. Whatever Augusta must've to discuss with Mrs. Potter must be important. And just after what all Augusta had told her about the Ministry and everything, she can't go on expecting Augusta to bake cakes with Lily now can she? She gave a sweet smile to Augusta and thanked James's mum for having her over.
"Oh don't be ridiculous Lily, it's really relieving to know that you actually exist. I thought James was besotted with some imaginary girl." replied Euphemia watching James go into eternal shock, "and call me Euphemia." she finished.
Lily smiled and nodded politely.
"Be good." with a final warning from Augusta, she and Euphemia left for Euphemia's study.
As she watched them go, her back to the two Marauders, she suppressed a groan.
"So Evans, how much did Alice bribe you to convince you to be here?" asked Sirius.
"Five weeks worth of D.A.D.A. homework." answered Lily simply turning around.
Sirius whistled at this and James just rolled his eyes.
"Come on we'll show you around." offered James.
James found it a bit odd she didn't say something scathing in return but didn't pay much attention to it. Maybe she's really not comfortable, he thought. The thought unsettled him. Back in castle everyone was their own master. They did as they pleased. But Lily was here, in his home, with a friend, who was busy with her boyfriend, and James thought it was entirely his responsibility that Lily should feel welcomed.
"So you've been to the front gardens, there's a quidditch pitch in the back, we can go there in the evening." said James.
"Why do you have a quidditch pitch?" asked Lily almost spontaneously. At the same time she reminded herself, be civil. Be civil. Be civil.
James for one didn't know how to answer that question. James was used to having guests who would marvel at his house that was practically a mansion but he noticed that as they roamed around the house aimlessly, Lily, instead of gazing at the ceilings and the grand chandeliers, which was what usually the new guests did, was looking at family portraits and recent photographs of James, Sirius, Mr. and Mrs. Potter. If there weren't any pictures to look at she would just look around aimlessly a vague expression on her face. They finally ended in Sirius's room and sat down on the bed. Lily crossed her legs, Sirius sat beside her and James lay down on his side, propped up on his elbow, the side of his head rested on his palm. James's mother entered the room sans Augusta and sat down on one of the chairs. After a minute or so had passed Lily spoke up.
"You've a very cosy home." she said to Euphemia.
"What?" asked James, confused, as he was only used to hearing things like, huge, great, grand, beautiful etc. regarding his house.
"A cosy home. That feels like home to begin with. Unlike what one would imagine a mansion to be like, huge, cold, unresponsive." she mused.
"Are you saying this mansion isn't huge?" asked James and Euphemia could've swatted James's arm had she been sitting close to him.
"No, it is huge but it doesn't feel like there's much distance between your room and your parents' and Sirius's. One wouldn't feel left out or disconnected from the family. It's very well thought out."
"Well thank you dear. That's the most lovely thing anyone has ever said about this place." Euphemia was practically glowing with a warm smile. She had never expected a sixteen year old to have noticed the efforts she had put into planning out the rooms. She'd had her own study and that of Fleamont moved to the first floor so the second floor was the one where everyone had their rooms. Unlike her maternal home, where every person had their own wing of the mansion to themselves and hardly ever came out of their spaces to interact, Euphemia had wanted a place that could make family the escape of the members from the outside world instead of ones own solitude. James knew what his mother was thinking. He was thinking the exact same thing. He too had never expected for anyone to have noticed such a trivial, and hard to point out feature of his house that made this mansion so much different and better than the others.
Euphemia bid her farewell. The three of them kept quiet until Sirius decided it was too boring for him. So he started asking Lily a series of questions about what-would-a-muggle-do.
"So you just have to pick up a pheletone?"
"Telephone, yeah. Everyone's telephone has a unique number assigned to it. More like a name. So if I've to call you, I'll dial the number of your telephone. When your telephone rings, you answer it and you could hear the other person."
"With no delay in time?" asked James curiously.
"I think a fraction of a second but not later than that."
"Wow." said James and Sirius.
"I wish there was something just as instant to communicate with in the wizarding world."
"Have you seen Alice and Frank's diary?" asked James almost spontaneously.
Lily nodded, "I asked Alice where she got it but the shop that sold it shut down ages ago. Bad business or something. Her grandmother had left the pair of the diary for her."
"Okay what do you do if there's a fire?" Sirius asked. By this time he had a long list of things he had to ask.
"Depends. If it's an electrical fire, you never throw water to douse it. You could get electrocuted."
James and Sirius gave her confused looks.
"Fried to death." she explained.
James was enjoying just having Lily this close to him without fighting or her insulting him. He could forever watch her explaining things, animatedly. A stray thought entered his mind that maybe she will never like him back. James had been experiencing these mood swings quite a lot from the past year. He couldn't control his emotions taking occasional swings at him. Sirius went down to the kitchens to get something to eat. Lily and James remained alone in the room.
Lily had been meaning to ask about James's father but didn't want to in front of anyone. She thought he might just say something that would irk her but so far he'd really behaved himself and made Lily feel at ease. So she decided to risk it.
"Your father was the head of the department where Frank's dad worked?" asked Lily apprehensively.
"What's it to you?!" snapped James.
The words had left James's mouth before his brain could comprehend what the question was. When he watched Lily's expression going from apprehensive to flashing angry, he realised his another mistake.
He would've apologised at that very moment had Frank and Alice not entered the room. Lily chose that moment to swallow her anger. Just a few more hours, she reminded herself. Still a git, she made a mental note.
For the rest of the evening Lily pointedly ignored James and not a word other than a polite smile here and there was exchanged. James spent the evening trying to tell everyone (his desired audience was Lily) about the different business houses of the wizarding world who lost business because someone in the inner circle was cheating on their spouse, everyone except Lily couldn't be bothered about it. This didn't go unnoticed by the gathering and especially by James. He mentally cursed himself for not being in control of himself. He knew he was wrong but he just couldn't get an opportunity to apologise in a proper manner.
When it was time to leave, she let out a sigh of relief. She said her goodbyes to everyone, including James however it was very curt and James couldn't apologise again because Augusta just won't leave Lily's side.
As James lay down in his bed that night he was acutely aware of the wasted opportunity. But his mind hadn't been in the right place for at least the past two months. He'd had irrational reactions to simple situations. The marauders knew what was up with him but he couldn't go on explaining about his father to everyone so they could, to some extent, tolerate his occasional snappy attitude. But Lily Evans wasn't just anyone. She could make him practically forget about everything else in the world.
Lily couldn't believe James would become a sodding git in less than a fraction of a second. She huffed in frustration as she straightened her sheets. When she got inside the sheets, she felt peaceful. A rational part of her brain constantly rooted for James, saying, that maybe he was too upset and disturbed by Franks's father's death given that his dad worked for the same department. But the other part of Lily that has known James Potter and dealt with his obnoxious attitude for five years, told her, he was still a git. And Lily decided that, here, experience trumps reason.
A/N: So I think I'm half asleep as I'm finishing up on this chapter. I haven't exactly proof-read the chapter but I'm uploading it nonetheless. I'll proof-read it tomorrow after a good long six hour long sleep. Until then you'll have to bear with my mixed up tenses or grammatical errors. Also leave a review maybe?
The guest reviewer for the previous chapter, thank you for leaving a review 3
Thanks for reading you guys , I love ya.
I'll update the next chapter next Saturday. Until then.